CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Video lottery machines across the Mountain State are bringing in thousands of more dollars, every day, to the state.
“I don’t think we were expecting it,” said John Myers, Director of WV Lottery. “We attribute a lot of it to the fact that people don’t have other avenues for entertainment right now.”
Myers says machines were bringing in $950 per machine per week…
“…that was last year,” he said. “This year we’re running about $1,260 per machine per week.”
This means that each machine in the state will total roughly 15,000 more dollars this year, than last year, creating an economic boost for West Virginia.
“Whatever the total revenue is, we get 51% of that for the state,” said Myers. “So that helps us fund a lot of projects here; education, in the form of scholarships, senior citizens… those types of things.”
And not to mention the added revenue it brings to the bars and taverns that have been struggling in other ways due to the pandemic.
“We’ve had some phone calls and conversations and of course they’re happy it’s going that way…” said Myers.
“We do not have the day crowd we used to have,” said an anonymous video game room owner. “Since a lot of people are working from home, they aren’t coming in during their lunches. So our day crowd is not what it used to be, but our evening crowd has picked up.”
I spoke to several more video lottery owners off-camera, who say they believe this is happening because of the limited ways to enjoy entertainment right now.
“We are one of the industries that is the entertainment that people can still enjoy,” said one owner. “You know they wanna come in and know they will be safe.”
But, as the director says, this is likely only temporary.
“Eventually it’ll start to go back down again as more things open and hopefully we get a vaccine here soon.”